What to do when someone dies
What to do firstHow to register a deathArranging a funeral

What to do first

When someone dies there are often many things to do, often at a time of great personal distress when you feel least able to cope. The burden is reduced when the funeral has been pre-arranged or pre-paid.

Death Occurs at Home
If someone dies at home, the following people should be contacted immediately:
• The family doctor
• The nearest relative
• The Funeral Director
If the death was NOT expected or you think there may be suspicious circumstances, then contact the POLICE immediately and remember not to touch or move anything.

Death Occurs at Hospital or Nursing Home
If the person dies in Hospital or a Nursing Home then they will make any immediate arrangements on your behalf, it is helpful to inform them of your choice of Funeral Director.

Expected Death
If the death was expected, the doctor will give you a Medical Certificate showing the cause of death. The doctor will also give you a Formal Notice that states that they have signed the Medical Certificate and tells you how to get the death registered.

If the person is to be cremated, two doctors must sign a certificate, but this is usually arranged by the family doctor if the death occurred at home. If the death occurred in a Hospital or Nursing Home then they will usually make arrangements for these to be completed.

Unexpected Death
If someone dies unexpectedly or the family doctor has not seen the person within 14 days of death, the death is reported to the Coroner. The Coroner is a doctor or lawyer responsible for investigating unexpected deaths. This means that there may be some delay. The Coroner may need to arrange for a post-mortem examination. If this occurs, advice can be obtained from your Funeral Director or the Coroner.

The Coroner will transport the deceased from place of death to their mortuary. We advise that you inform the Coroner of your chosen funeral director at the earliest opportunity so that we can liaise with the Coroner on your behalf.

Does the deceased have a valid Will?
Does the deceased have a valid Will? Are you in receipt of it? It can hold vital information about whether the funeral should be a burial or a cremation, so it is good practise to read it prior to making any funeral arrangements.

If you are unable to find a Will for someone who has died a search can be carried out. The cost starts at 40. Visit certainty.co.uk for more information.


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